Apple Has Licensed iOS Design Patents to Microsoft, Agreement Bans "Cloning"

Apple has licensed its design patents to Microsoft -- the same patents at issue in the Samsung case -- according to Boris Teksler, director of Patent Licensing & Strategy at Apple. The development was revealed today in the Apple v. Samsung trial according to Dan Levine, a legal reporter for Reuters who is covering the trial from the courtroom.

Apple patent licensing director Teksler: Apple has licensed its design patents to Msft, but they have an "anticloning" agreement.

Ian Sherr, legal reporter for Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, adds additional information on the statement, saying that the design patents are covered under Apple and Microsoft's patent cross-licensing agreement. Apple could be making this point to show that Samsung should have licensed the patents as well.

NewImage
In June, Microsoft introduced its 'Surface' tablet to compete with the iPad and Android tablets. Though there are significant physical similarities to the iPad, the Metro user interface is significantly different from iOS. The "anticloning" agreement between Microsoft and Apple may be satisfied by the Surface's very dissimilar operating system.

A Reuters article by Levine sheds some additional light on the agreement:

Apple's decision to license its design patents to Microsoft was consistent with its corporate strategy, Teksler said, because the agreement prohibited Microsoft from manufacturing copies.

"There was no right with respect to these design patents to build clones of any type," Teksler said.

The agreement is especially notable given the history of lawsuits between Microsoft and Apple, including the "look-and-feel" trial that Apple largely lost.

The Samsung trial has given Apple-watchers an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the incredibly secretive company, including detailed numbers of U.S. iPhone and iPad sales as well as a look into Apple's marketing strategy and the fact that Eddy Cue had worked to convince Steve Jobs of the need for a 7-inch iPad.

Top Rated Comments

Kaibelf Avatar
128 months ago
See Samsung? Is it that hard to actually PAY for the things you take?
Score: 69 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nick_elt Avatar
128 months ago
As much as I have been burned by Windows in the past, I gotta give credit to Microsoft for showing the world that that yes you can come up with your own fresh ideas and implement them. Doesnt mean ill buy their stuff anytime soon tho. (unless some amazing Lumia Pureview comes out soon)
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KPOM Avatar
128 months ago
This bolsters Apple's case. First, it shows that Apple can be reasonable with another competitor, plus it shows evidence that Apple isn't singling out Samsung in enforcement of its design patents. Apparently at some point Microsoft and Apple reached agreement that enables Microsoft to compete in the market while satisfying Apple's concerns about design infringement.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Malus120 Avatar
128 months ago
I'll admit, I have no love for Microsoft and the majority of their products. That said, I have a lot of respect for what they've done in the mobile space. They've shown that you CAN create an alternative to iOS without blatantly ripping off Apple's IP.

This agreement further demonstrates that even Microsoft understands that
A) You license other's IP when you have to, instead of trying to get away with grand theft.
B) If you don't wanna be dependent on that license forever, all you have to do is start thinking outside the "box" of that license...

All I have to say is, either force them to play by the rules or NAIL SAMSUNG to the wall Apple.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mevensen Avatar
128 months ago
minus the fact Apple is not putting it up for anyone else. This could really come back to hurt Apple and then getting nailed for the actions.

Something already smelled pretty bad between Apple and MS.

Except that we have already seen testimony the Apple had offerred a similar licensing agreement to Samsung. So Apple did "put it up" for them, they just didn't bite.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2bikes Avatar
128 months ago
minus the fact Apple is not putting it up for anyone else. This could really come back to hurt Apple and then getting nailed for the actions.

Something already smelled pretty bad between Apple and MS.

What do you mean by `Apple is not putting it up for anyone else`? until now we didn't know they were putting it up for Microsoft either.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...
2022 Apple Watch Pride Edition Bands

Apple Announces 2022 Pride Edition Watch Bands and Watch Face

Tuesday May 24, 2022 6:24 am PDT by
Apple today announced new Pride bands for the Apple Watch, with new Pride Edition Sport Loop and Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop options available. The new Pride Edition bands are available to order today for $49 on Apple.com and in the Apple Store app, and will be available at Apple Store locations starting May 26. The Pride Edition Nike Sport Loop is also coming soon to Nike.com. This...